ABC's Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear's 'All in the Family' and 'The Jeffersons' was such a success the first time that the network plans to air it again on Saturday, May 25 at 8 p.m. ET.
After the 90-minute special wraps, the alphabet network will also air the same Nightline documentary on the legendary television producer Norman Lear that showed after the original live broadcast, notes Deadline.
The special is also available On Demand through your cable or satellite provider. It is up on ABC.com, and you can access the video with your subscription log-in. It is also available on Hulu.
The live special was a surprise hit for ABC on the last night of the 2018-2019 television season Wednesday night. The special, which aired from 8 p.m. to 9:33 p.m. ET averaged 10.36 million viewers and a 1.7 rating in the key 18-49 demographic, making it the most-watched show of the night. It was also the top-rated Wednesday show for ABC in six months, when the CMA Awards aired in November. If you take away the CMAs, it was the biggest Wednesday of the season for ABC.
The special was a passion project for Jimmy Kimmel Live host Jimmy Kimmel, who also hosted the broadcast. It brought together an impressive collection of A-listers to recreate episodes of All In The Family and The Jeffersons live.
Fans and critics alike praised the special, which included a surprise appearance from Marla Gibbs in her original role as the Jeffersons' maid Florence Johnston. Jennifer Hudson also stole the show by singing The Jeffersons' "Movin' On Up" theme song.
The special also produced a viral moment, when Jamie Foxx flubbed a line as George Jefferson. Towards the end of the special, he began tripping over his words in a speech to Anthony Anderson's Uncle Henry. Rather than try to do it all over again, he kept going.
The all-star cast also included Woody Harrelson as Archie Bunker, Marisa Tomei as Edith Bunker, Wanda Sykes, Kerry Washington, Ellie Kemper, Sean Hayes, Jackee Harry, Stephen Tobolowsky, Will Ferrell, Justina Machado, Amber Stevens West and Ike Barinholtz.
In an interview with USA Today, Kimmel said Harrelson and Foxx were the first actors they asked to join the special, and they both immediately agreed.
Kimmel hoped to introduce All In The Family and The Jeffersons to a new generation of viewers, many of whom were not around yet when they aired and might not be inclined to watch a show with actors they are not familiar with.
“For me, the inspiration is the work of Norman Lear and the great television shows that I want to make sure are not forgotten by a new generation,” the late-night host explained. “They’re important shows, just as important as anything in our culture. I think television is seen as less than that sometimes, but to me and my family, these are shows we love and learned from.”
Photo credit: ABC/Eric McCandless